Is it menopause or aging?

Posted , 17 users are following.

Hi,

I've been a member for over a year and have been reading many of the discussions. I am wondering if menopause really has 200+ symptoms, or if some of it is just age. Or are people calling aging menopause?

The reason I question a lot of this is that I had so many of the symptoms before menopause, especially during child-bearing years.

Another thought is that aging men also have similar symptoms; hence making me think some things are simply age related.

Some of the things I've learned aging men have: headaches, pain between shoulder blades, back aches, muscle aches in general, tiredness, low energy, depression, mood swings, edginess, eye aches, vision problems, memory problems (especially, "what was I gonna do/why did I come in this room"?), fuzzy head, ear pain, itchy skin, thinning hair, UTI's, bowel problems, etc. I can go on and on, but the question is: "Is it menopause (hormone related) or just aging?" Or do men go through hormone changes also?

4 likes, 54 replies

Report / Delete

54 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    hi Daisy

    yes we are all aging, but for women once their periods change it seems that all the problems come together,  seems like overnight..  For me, this is exactly what happened, I was energetic, felt healthy and had no aches and pains, but missed the first period and my world came crashing down around me, very quickly, aches headaches, everything that everyone talks about here.  So yes, entering peri/menopause is the aging process for women,  but like falling off a cliff, fine one day, next day fast tracked into the aging process?  It is not the same for men, they get aches and pains, but do not wake up one morning with a load of symptoms together unless perhaps they have a hormonal imbalance which would be to do with overall health for them possibly.. Most women on this forum and elsewhere agree that they were healthy before this happened, felt healthy, and all the tests they undergo when it hits has proven time and time again that they are healthy overall,  we just cannot control the hormonal imbalance..  It is aging, but nature is not so kind to women.    A lot of women have said, that once they reach menopause a lot of the aggravating symptoms subside,  their bodies have taken a beating but it gets better.   It is just finding ways to balance hormones throughout the journey.  On good days, when I believe my hormones are even, I feel full of energy and life, just like before and I am still in good health,  when they dip, I feel awful, achy anxious etc.  If this was purely aging, why do I feel so well and fit some of the time?  

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    It has to be hormones for me anyways. According to all my blood tests Im in perfect health. Im 46, Im in great shape& nobody would look at me and think "that woman is old and going through hell" it's well disguised as inside I feel like hell. ...but of course it's aging, the aging is causing our hormones cause all this.

    I don't know any men my age complaining unless it's their own fault, like the eat crappy or don't exercise...but of course they will have some things change as they get older...but I don't know any of them that are going through loosing their lives like the woman on here are. Actually I know a few men that got calmer with age and read that this is because their testosterone levels lower.

    Of course we will all have aging syptoms, that I expected and can accept....but this perimenopse is beyond that.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi... its hormones in general... you get milder version during child bearing years as PMT... again its caused by your fluctuating hormones just the same as it is in peri and menopause.  Things get far worse as you go into peri and the swings are more erratic  and as you have less and less the body tries to compensate by adding other hormones/chemicals into the mix to try and stabilise your body functions. The side effects of these other hormones and chemicals is the mix of symptoms we experience at this time.  I would say its not age as such as most of the symptoms go away given enough time , yet you are getting older .. so it cant be age. As for men.. its a little known fact but men have a type of menopause too, its caused menopause.. haha.. having seen my husband go through it these last few years at 59.. trust me its real!!.. it too is caused by the reduction of male hormones at this time of life, but unlike us women its much slower and a general slow decline , rather  than fits and starts like we have to deal with due to periods.  So it is age as much as growing older causes it, but its not in as much as most of the symptoms are only temporary .
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      littleme1969, you are correct about male menopause. When my sister's husband starting acting weird, she went online and did some research and did indeed find that men also go through menopause. Yes some it is aging, but men also have symptoms from a reduction in hormones. Also a lot of women have menopause symptoms that they feel are just the aging process but are actually menopause symptoms because over the years they have found so many new symptoms.

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    DaisyDaze,

    Great post you wrote. I don't think people realize how much of a role our hormones play for keeping us healthy through our whole life, men and women. Yes, men's hormones go bye bye too, mainly testosterone in men. Its more of a gradual deal for them but eventually they reach bottom too. Reason you don't hear about it more is men just don't advertise how they feel. They cover it up and ignore. Its the spouse/partner that sees the obvious signs in them like being lethargic, moody/crabby, no interest in things anymore, giving up things they use to do like play golf, cards, hunt etc, muscle mass is lost big time and can be seen in their once muscular arms. Aging appears on them too with vision going, skin changes, hearing, loss of libido ( a once interested in sex everyday man don't care if he ever has sex anymore). I remember my own husbands attitude on life before he got on testosterone replacement was grim. He felt life was over once our last child left. He had very little if any interest in sex, we might as well been roommates, he pretty much give up bowling and golfing ( two things he loved doing for years ) His best friends were the tv and remote along with the couch or chair. So men change too. What happens to men and women when our hormones plummet is sickness usually follows in all kinds of forms. Yes, skin, hair nails, nerves, mental attitude, sleepless nights and the list goes on. Women do seem to fare worse because the bad estrogen still continues in a women causing us to be right with men after menopause for heart attacks. Our once good estrogen kept us heart protected but not after menopause. I'm sure we all know women that after menopause that have had heart attack, stroke, cancer.  Men and women have to make their own decision on hormone replacement but without it we seem to age much faster, men and women. Of course the proper hormones and a well studied hormone doctor is essential. I know first hand my own experience, peri is only the beginning. I would love to be back in peri, at least my periods were keeping me healthy. After my periods ended is when big trouble started. I have been in menopause almost 3 years, been on BHRT for 2 and half years. What do women say typically? I want my life back! I have my life back. My husband is on testosterone treatment also and has his life back. He's back doing things like golf, he spends much less time in a chair and his life outlook isn't gloom and doom, life is over. Our intimacy has grown better than what it was when we were younger. I'm not trying to sell anyone on this stuff but first hand experience for my husband and I is we've slowed this aging down and that I believe brings on better health and much more happiness in life. It gets down ultimately to what quality of life you want as you age. Good luck.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Men go through hormone changes, too.  Their testosterone level starts to drop at about age 30, I think.  They also have some estrogen in their systems, too. You might want to do some research about it.  But even at lowered levels they have far more testosterone in their systems than women do. The lower hormones also "mellow" them--and they're much nicer people than they were say, in their 30's and 40's. smile  

    I think that far too many women attribute all the symptoms they have to menopause, that's why they need to keep seeing their regular gp as well as their ob/gyn.  I've seen posts about digestive issues on the menopause site, that sound like gallbladder problems, for instance.  xx

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi, I read somewhere that after menopause your body is 15years older through lack of hormones than before. That's how much of an impact it has on your body. After menopause we age much faster than we did before,as estrogen has a 'guarding' effect on our bodies.i think estrogen has an impact on about 200 different things in our bodies,so lack of it can cause about 200 different symptoms. I know before menopause our heart health is better than men's because of estrogen. After menopause our heart health is equal to men's and sometimes worse than men's because of no estrogen.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Daisy, that's a very good question.  The one thing I know for certain is that men also experience hormone changes. I once saw a gynecologist who worked with female hormones and menopause.  Much to his dismay, he was experiencing night sweats where he'd wake drenched, just like women do.  He checked his testosterone level, which he found was on the floor.  He then became a proponent of replacing testosterone in males, and took it himself.  Interestingly enough, it did resolve his night sweats.  So yes, men also experience declines in their hormones.

    Now as far and show much of this is simple aging, that's hard to tell.  But the one thing that I have heard repeatedly from female hormone gurus, is that even with hormone replacement you will still age.  (Much to Suzanne Summers dismay)  This one is a hard one for me, as I must admit I've bought into this "hormones will help" thing.  "Logically, how could they not" is where my mind goes.  It seems that hormone replacement would at the very least, give your body a boost, as we've had these chemicals our entire adult lives.  But I'd sure like to hear what other women think.  

    Great topic, and I'll be looking to see what other women think.  

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Ladies

    My input on this...I was like others...happy, healthy, no chronic illnesses, no medications, no mental or physical ailments. Petite, healthy, no smoking or drinking or drugs & not overweight. Birthed 3 beautiful kids, no problems before during or after babies! Normal periods. Great hubby, friends  & relationships!!

    Hit 49 & had expired 5yr  Mirena IUD removed 6 months ago...figuring my fertile baby birthing days are over. 

    2018 began...I literally hit a brick wall,,,mentally and physically. My hormone, thyroid, nutrient, vitamin levels have greatly decreased in last 6mnth. I’ve had them checked 4 times, as any good Dr will tell  you tracking them is best. Not a one time snap shot. My Estrogen is now 9, while FSH is 180-190.  I’ve not had a period for 5 months this month. 

    I am having anxiety attacks, I’m verbally mean and unnecessarily impatient and immediately agitated by EVERYTHING & EVERYONE. My body, back and joints SUDDENLY all hurt and ache horribly. I’ve had 5 UTI of bladder in last 2-3 months, Urologist says Menopausal women get chronic UTIs when Estrogen is low/gone. Look up UTIs and it states Menapause is a cause. 

    This simply is not me....it is my hormones. I was NEVER SICK OR AILING. 

    I’ve been checked and tested from top to bottom. Colonoscopy, Endoscopy, CAT Scan, Bone Density, Mammo/Sono breast, vaginal ultrasound, Thyroid Ultrasound, endless blood work, and seen Endocrinologist, Urologist, PC, GYN, Rheumatologist, Ent Dr, Optometrist...it’s endless. 

    I went to my PC and OB/GYN once a year, my entire life, besides pregnancy...until my hormones gave out. 

    Yes men lose testosterone & their hair...sorry but...poor babies. 

    As for body aging...yes I’m sure we all feel that a bit...gradually!!!

    This has literally hit me and many women on this sight out of nowhere & incredibly fast.  That’s not aging...it’s hormonal imbalances pure and unfortunately not so simply. 

    I wish all we had was some night sweats and slower metabolism with our bottoms sitting on the sofa. 

    For me, my symptoms are so out of my normal body that my daily abilities are altered. This isn’t just aging, that is a GRADUAL process of noticing some aches, fatigue, slower metabolism etc. ...

    Many of us here feel like we’ve been put on a turbulent red eye airplane flight that never ends.

    😔😖🧘🏻???🙏 

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Im with you. Im 46 and this craziness started at 40, that's 6 years of suffering and as I said in a previous reply to this I am in perfect health according to several blood tests. Most of the time I eat good, for sure do yoga in the morning and another type of work out every evening, physically can do more than some 25 year olds. ..yet on side I feel horrible. I expected and can handle the night sweats and even can except a few nights here and there a few nights with little sleep.....but this is beyond that. I too have days I have no patients and can feel very mean at times, for no reason or I have days I could cry all day. I've learned to handle the mood swings better...but some if that handling is staying home away from people when I can. I've had to leave a job and Co workers I was really fond of because it was a stressful job and all of a sudden I couldn't handle the stress anymore and I used to actually like the stress of it...I had to take a less stressful job with lower pay.

      I can get old age changes, like not being able to read small print any more or would be ok with some little aches and pains. .but to be all over the place in moods and the whole up heavel of life is rediculas.

      It's not just old age....it's hormones. At first I didn't know what was going on and ran to the doctor for panic attacks and depression...now being in the sixth year of this I can tell it's hormones, I can predict pretty much when I'll have night sweats and be moody all around either my period or ovulating.

      Im know men have hormonal changes that effect their moods....I saw it when my sons went through puberty, but it only lasted a few years....and Im sure it probably does go the other way when they hit a certain old age....but far few get a crazy hormonal shift that totally affects their lives like most of the woman scared to death and lost for answers on here.

      Im 46 and single, I refuse to even try to date anymore....but for at least men my age, they don't seem to be having any hormonal problems....they seem to be pretty horny and dating many or trying to cheat on their spouses. Or maybe that is a sign of their hormonal changes.

      Anyways Im very sorry if Im coming across too blunt or sound angry...but I expected age changes, this has to be hormones.

      I feel bad every time I read a newcomers post on here, we are not warned this could happen and for some reason doctors are oblivious for the most part that this is a real thing.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      So can we just replace the hormones that our ovaries don’t produce anymore and just go on our lives? And with the exogenous supply of estrogen we can protect our health and prevent diseases that are connected with the lack of estrogen. I think that hrt will be an anti aging drug at the future. 
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Vicky, 

      I can understand why you feel that way. So did women in the 1960's.  And the drug companies that produced them wanted them to believe it, too. But long term use of hormones, in both males and females, can be a dangerous practice. At one time, unfettered use of estrogen was touted to be a fountain of youth for women.  Then they started to get cancer.   

      Please do some on line research yourself, so you will have enough knowledge to make an informed decision for yourself. xx 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hormones are up to the individual, some choose quality of life now, I get their side of why. It's a choice that Im trying my best to stay away from. I talked to a lady once, she did HRT until she was 65 but had to come off of them, then went through every syptoms of peri and menipose all at once, she wished she had just delt with it at the right age.

      I think maybe some of all of our anxieties and depressions come down to AGE, unfortunately we still live in a society that still somewhat thinks that once a woman are past 40 we are considered old and washed up.....through some mixed up hormones in the mix and we start to get more upset and believe it.

      I've come to the point I don't care about getting old, nothing will ever beat it....I just want to be the old happy/content me again.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi! I’m only 42 so hrt is a necessity for me.

      I agree with you, hrt isn’t a magic cure for everyone but when your symptoms are too severe, you feel suicidal, your quality of life is poor and you feel like the shadow of your old self, then you just don’t care about getting cancer.

      The researchers in 1960 use old drugs with synthetic estrogen and progestins and the women who take that are in much older ages. 

      I’ll intend to stay on hrt for life adjusting my doses according my age, I don’t find other way to live...

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I can understand why you feel as you do and your decision.  However, when you're prescribed hormones, please look up their side effects on line. Unless you're on bio identical hormones, you're still getting synthetics, just in smaller amounts.

      I had two friends develop blood clots while being on the patch.  They had never read the side effects, so when they got their blood clots they thought they were something else.  One thought she'd sprained a calf muscle.  She had a DVT. The other thought she strained her shoulders, somehow.  She had a PED.  I tried to convince then otherwise.  

      The one with the DVT tried to exercise her pain away, and eventually went to the hospital after 3 days!  The other one wasn't so stubborn.  But she was also hospitalized.  Both of them could have died.  xx

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you for replying Lynda! I´m sorry for your friends!

      Yes Im on estradiol and dydrogesterone and I’ll change it to micronized progesterone.

      I absolutely agree with you about knowing the side effects! I was a bit paranoid at first for taking hormones and my gyn explained to me what the risks and side effects are.

      He insists that hrt is a necessity for me due my primary ovarian failure and I have my scans every 3 months and my mammogram yearly.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I'm glad that you and your doctor are being careful!  I would say that from what I've read on this site, that lots of doctors don't pay attention, and don't care about the side effects.  Some of them seem to have favorite meds to prescribe, too.  

      In my opinion, female and male menopause are part of a natural aging process, and they shouldn't be classified as not a part of it.  But, if they are, think how much money the drug companies will be able to make from them!  Male and female hormones are powerful substances.  They can be very dangerous. xx

       

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      For sure Lynda! And many arrogant gyns doesn’t care for menopause and our health!

      My first gyn said that I have to accept my early meno as natural and that I was just unlucky! Terrible! He wanted to prescribe antidepressants

      The menopause is natural at 50, not at 30 or at 40! 

      My last gyn said that my body doesn’t produce any estrogen any more, I have primary ovarian failure and I can stay on hrt safely until 50 and later if I want on lower doses. 

      I know many women who had an early meno, they did not take hormones and later had severe osteoporosis and heart problems.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you Lynda!

      I’m in the same boat!

      I think that you made the right decision to take hrt for a decade!

      My mum was on Tibolone for many years, she had her meno at 47 and she is healthy and she is still working! 

      After 60 hrt has more risks than benefits I think! 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I myself am afraid to take hormones. There would only be one reason though, and that would be if it helped with weight loss. Other than that, at 58, i feel pretty good.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I'm glad you're doing good!  In one of my magazines this month, there was a brief article about how HRT encourages the formation of kidney stones in some women, according to a research study.  

      These drug companies are putting money in their pockets by selling substances to women that have shown to be unsafe.  I can understand why women take them, but for some poor souls, they can be deadly.  xx

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Everything we do in life has a risk element. Even crossing the road. We weigh up the benefits over the damage. The positives over the negatives. The pleasure over the pain.  A long life does not necessarily mean a happy life. 
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I understand completely.  But there is a difference between making a choice knowing fully what you're getting yourself into and being unaware.  All too few doctors urge their patients to know the possible side effects of many drugs, not just HRT.  Many don't know themselves.

      Doctors in the USA are paid money by the drug companies to advocate that other doctors issue prescriptions. Those types of actions are what caused the use and misuse of opiods which is at a crisis level here.  Also, certain drugs are often prescribed for uses not approved by our FDA.  

      As always, money is at the bottom of it.  I hope that women will research on their own the side effects of the HRT and other devices, like iud's before they decide to use them.  xx 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes I agree. We have to educate ourselves. My mother in law was prescribed a drug to slow her fast heart rate. She said to her doctor that it was causing her food to taste bad. He said she was imagining it, then he actually googled it in front of her and said ‘oh yes you are right, it is a side effect’!  She is 86 and the only pleasure she has in life is cooking and eating. She is now depressed and dwindling in front of our eyes. 
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      So sorry to learn about your mother in law!  Whenever I get prescribed something, I look it up on line, including interactions with the meds I already take.  There are too many drugs out there for doctors to be able to keep up, in my opinion.  And what you can find out from reputable sites on line is often more detailed than the leaflets you get with the prescription from the druggist. xx
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I have to agree with you Lynda. I remember the IUD fad back in the 70's and 80's. I know of several women who ended up in emergency care. I'm sure they have improved that, but the point is, no one was aware of the risk they were taking with an IUD. I remember the copper T being really bad.

      Doctors in the US are quick to throw you on meds without knowing the side effects. Ask the pharmacist! He/she are much more qualified in explaining how meds work and the side effects of them.

      On the sad side of this opioid epidemic, those who need pain medication are having a hard time getting it now. My niece just had her wisdom teeth out. Couldn't even get a 3-day supply. What a shame! But, that's another topic.

      Back to what we were discussing- yes, research "how" the medication works and "what" the results may be!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes, the opiod crisis is a mess!  Sorry about your niece. I had major surgery a little over 6 weeks ago, and am now taking 2 pills every 6 hours for pain.  They aren't considered dangerous drugs, and they barely work.  They make me unsteady on my feet--and the pain relief is negligible.  So, I'm taking Tylenol, too.

      There was the copper T and the coil.  Not to mention the strips of depo-provera that were injected under the skin of the forearm!  No one had figured out how to get them out once they stopped working except cutting them out!  And they made lots of women terribly ill.  Depo-provera shots still do.  

      There is a commercial for an iud that somehow makes the words, "may penetrate the uterine wall" sound like a mild inconvenience, instead of a life threatening occurrence.

      You have to take care of yourself around this, because the doctors sure won't! xx 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Sure is.  The Mirena device that so many UK doctors prescribe for their patients has the same warning.  Nonetheless, they prescribe it.  Disgusting how much they value their convenience over patients' safety. 

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Lynda,

      We should start a new thread focusing on medications (mostly hormone related), birth control devices, etc. It would be interesting to see the side effects from real people.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Please be my guest to start the thread.  I'm having treatment for another medical issue right now, and am having a difficult time.  But, I do check into this site, because I love the ladies on it! xx

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      So sorry to learn that!  A friend of mine had one of those shots.  Her gyn "inadvertently" over dosed her.  She was terribly sick for a long time.  

      The bottom line is that the drug companies don't care as long as they are making money--doctors get paid to recommend their products, and it's the patients who suffer.  xx

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I, exactly like you. Before I turned to 51, I was just so healthy. My GP complained I had not had seen him for long time. But one night my story turned around, which started from my right buttock in June 2016. I did not have any injury on it, but it was hurt at beginning, and developed to inflammation. The inflammation spread to all around to low and middle of my body. I had not idea what was going on. The middle of body was extremely painful and swelled. This situation lasted for 1 year. Finally, there is one anti-inflammatory worked! Inflammation was gone in May 2016, but the pain has been persisted on to now. During May 2016 to now, I have been suffering from nightmare life. My body twitch, I have fibromyalgia(whole body pain), depression, anxiety, sleepless,  panic, tingling/clawing fingers, legs, head, dry skin and so on and on. Hot flash, night sweating are just nothing for me, compared to other symptoms. I went from doctor to doctor, CT, MRI, EMG, ton of blood work. Nothing the doctor can find. I mentioned to doctor if possible it is menopause. My GP said not. My Goodness! I tried Bio-hormones, It worked for me! Not all of symptoms, but at least I feel I am still alive! At beginning I was stared of HRT, But all unbearable symptoms made me change my mind! I want my life back, which I have lost for last two years. Life is just so short! So far, none of a doctor know what a hell is going on! Trust your own body, menopause makes doctors confused some time. Especial male doctor!s
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi, Maisie!  Good to hear from you, and thank you.  Week before last, I started pelvic radiation.  My oncologist  (who's not a radiation oncologist) made it sound as though I'd be skipping into the treatment room and skipping out again.  Uh, no.

      My treatment plan is for 5 weeks, 5 days a week.  I had one full week, then last week, only got in 2 days.  I missed one day because I'd been ill and was in the ER till 1 a.m.  Missed the other 2 days because the machine was out of order.

      I started my third week today, and was informed that the missing days will be tacked on to the end.  Already have side effects, which happened last weekend. Pelvic tissues inflamed and diarrhea. 

      Everyone at the radiation oncologist's office, including him, are brilliant.  Very helpful.  They even have a cream to help me with the burning and stinging. I'll get through it.  xx  

       

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Lynda. Good to hear that you are being cared for by the medical team. Although I'm sure you would rather not have to go through this treatment. Wishing you a speedy recovery and successful outcome. Stay strong, sending you hugs and good wishes xxx

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi, Maisie!

      So good to hear from you!  Just had my 10th treatment today, out of the scheduled 25.  

      Thank you so much!  Hugs and good wishes, to you, too! XOXOXOXO!

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up